by Laura Guzman, Co-Manager, The Bookmark Bookstore
The Bookmark Bookstore plays an important role in the overall impact of the Friends of the Oakland Public Library. Not only is it a major source of the donations we raise for the Oakland Public Library each year, it is also where the public often learns about the Friends of OPL to begin with. In fact, nearly half of our new members join for the first time at the Bookmark.
The Bookmark Bookstore is almost entirely staffed by volunteers, who dedicate their time and skills to enable the store to operate. Over the past year, their work has been more important than ever, as they have helped the store emerge from COVID and reopen to the public – and accept a record number of donations in the process!
In an effort to cope with this influx, as well as adjust to other changes in the post-COVID world, the new bookstore co-managers have identified some new ways volunteers can provide support. These include:
Online Sales Support: Assisting with posting/updating items for sale on our online channels, including Amazon and eBay; and assisting with processing online orders.
Bookstore Communications: Assisting with social media and blog content and various graphic design projects
Book Transportation: A volunteer with a large vehicle to help transport boxes of books to recycling depot and/or re-donation sites.
Commercial real estate assistance: A volunteer with CRE experience to help advise on real estate options and assist with locating affordable alternate store location and/or nearby storage space to help accommodate all those donations!
We also continue to need store volunteers to work either a regular 3-hour weekly shift or as an on-call substitute. Volunteer activities include receiving, unpacking and pricing donations; shelving new books and culling old stock; keeping sections alphabetized; general store upkeep; signing up new FOPL members; and ringing up sales. (An added bonus: bookstore volunteers get 50% off everything in store!)
Whether you’re new and exploring opportunities for the first time or have been a long-time volunteer and are curious about how else you may be able to contribute, check out the updated Friends of the OPL Volunteer Interest Form. There are numerous other opportunities to get involved beyond the bookstore, too, from advocacy to fundraising to community engagement.
Thank you to our volunteers for all that they do to support us. We look forward to hopefully welcoming some new volunteers – and their amazing skills and ideas – to continue to help the Friends of the OPL make a positive impact on our community.